Italy’s cabinet has approved a law that will make vaccinations compulsory for children starting at state schools. The law will apply to children aged up to six years old.
The vaccines include those against measles and meningitis, cases of which have risen dramatically in Italy recently.
The decree was slightly held up by debate over the age at which vaccinations should be compulsory. Lorenzin wanted the law to apply to all children up to ten but Education Minister Valeria Fedeli argued for it to be left at six.
Ministers clashing heads
Valerie Fedeli said last week that she was “astonished” by the way Lorenzin had pushed through the bill.
Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi commented on the evident friction between the two saying: “The government is giving an impression of no coordination, and everyone doing what they feel like”.
Lorenzin has long campaigned to tackle the fall in vaccination cover across Italy and has previously sounded the alarm over the recent rise in infectious diseases.
In March, she called to “rapidly boost” vaccination cover and last November, she welcomed the decision of an Italian region to ban non-vaccinated children from public daycare centres.
According to the National Health Institute measles cases had rose more than fivefold across Italy in April when compared to the same month last year.
More concern was risen after up to 20,000 children in Treviso, northern Italy, are thought to be at risk of infectious diseases following revelations that an Italian nurse ‘pretended’ to administer vaccines whilst actually throwing away the phials instead.
Vaccines are important to keep us protected, but there is the constant debate over what is best for young children.
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